PhD position in “Risk Management in Legal Reasoning”, Queen Mary, University of London-School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

We are looking for a strongly motivated person with an MSc or an excellent BS in computer science, mathematical psychology, or cognitive science. The focus of this doctoral research will be to address a key problem in the domain of legal reasoning: Bayesian statistics is playing an increasingly important role in many types of forensic evidence, but, problematically, the impact of the evidence is generally misunderstood and poorly presented by legal practitioners. The problem is exacerbated by a failure to consider or understand Bayes’ theorem, which is the only rational to way to determine to impact of different pieces of evidence (this problem afflicts forensic experts as well as lawyers). The consequent misuse of statistical evidence has resulted in frequent miscarriages of justice, both in the UK and worldwide. This studentship will involve multidisciplinary research that includes the fields of cognitive psychology, statistics, data visualisation, as well as computer science. The research will address the problem of how non-experts in statistics can be presented with statistical evidence such that the evidence is comprehended and used correctly.

Applicants must have a strong computational background, a solid understanding of Bayesian statistics, excellent writing skills, as well as an understanding or interest in human psychology degree, and know how to, or can easily learn how to, program interactive online experiments. The closing date for applications is 31 January 2013 at 5pm, GMT.

The studentship is funded for three years and will cover student fees and a tax-free stipend starting at £15,590 per annum. Candidates for either studentship should have a first class honours degree or equivalent, or a strong Masters Degree, in computer science, mathematics, physics or electronic engineering, or computational cognitive science. The studentships will be based in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at Queen Mary University of London, in the Risk and Information Management Group,which has a world-leading reputation in the area of risk assessment. The RIM group undertakes interdisciplinary research in decision analysis and risk, databases/information retrieval, personalisation, learning, uncertainty, and Bayesian methods. Much of the research involves combining data and human expertise to create intelligent solutions for high stakes decisions. We work with practitioners to produce intelligent ‘unified models’ (typically causal Bayesian networks) that use both data and expertise as inputs, to support expert decision making in multiple application domains. The group is currently working on improved decision making in medical, legal, systems engineering, security and safety applications.

Further particulars, and information on how to apply can be accessed here:

If you have any queries regarding this vacancy or the application process, please contact Anne Hsu,

Closing Date
31 Jan 2013, 5pm GMT.

Interviews in Feb 2013.